ERIC Number: ED087487
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973-Nov
Analysis of Requests Made to the National Children's Bureau Question and Answer Service. Design of Information Systems in the Social Sciences. Research Reports Series B, Number Two.
Bath Univ. of Technology (England). Univ. Library.
A sample of 564 inquiries made to the National Children's Bureau (NCB) question and answer service during 1970-72 was analyzed. Three-quarters of all inquiries came by letter, and nearly all the remainder by telephone. Apart from inquiries concerning the NCB itself, inquiries were mostly for information on a variety of topics concerned with children. Most inquiries were for "any information" on a topic, though requests for references, statistics and addresses were also common. Students formed by far the largest body of inquirers, followed by various professional bodies, other groups and local authorities. Half the replies given consisted solely of references; addresses accounted for over a quarter of all replies. In 12 percent of the cases, no direct help could be given. Replies were nearly always given in a personal letter. In 1972 the average delay in replying was 7 days. Suggestions were made for rationalization of the service, by greater formalization of replies, increased use of handouts, pre-packaging of information where appropriate. Any such rationalization should be accompanied by an assessment of its effects, particularly the effects of reducing the personal elements of the reply. (Author)
Descriptors: Children, Content Analysis, Information Dissemination, Information Needs, Information Services, Letters (Correspondence), Program Evaluation, Social Sciences
The Library, Bath University, Claverton Down, Bath BA2 7AY, England (one English pound)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Bath Univ. of Technology (England). Univ. Library.